Police detain SWAT officer who fled after nightclub shooting in southern Thailand

Photo via DailyNews


Police have tracked down and arrested Sergeant Bird, the SWAT officer who shot dead a man at Country Home nightclub in Trang province, southern Thailand, yesterday morning.

Sergeant Bird fired 11 shots with a 9mm gun, nine hitting 32 year old Chitkorn “Khao” Kongchan. Two others were injured in the gunfire.

After the SWAT officer fled the nightclub, he stole a bulletproof vest and an M-16 rifle from the police’s armoury before going on the run.

At 9.20am today, Bird was taken into police custody for questioning.

Not many details have been released as of yet. However, the Commander-in-Chief of Provincial Police Region 9 Pol. Lt. Gen. Naanthadej Yoi-nuan will give a press conference on the matter this afternoon.

The deceased was a good friend of many politicians in the area.

ORIGINAL STORY: Drunk SWAT policeman shoots man 9 times at a nightclub in southern Thailand

A drunk Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) police officer shot dead a man inside a nightclub in Trang province, southern Thailand, at around 1am today. The SWAT officer fired 11 shots in total with a 9mm gun. Two more nightclub revellers caught in the gunfire were injured.

At 1.13am, officers from Mueang Trang Police Station received a report that a fatal shooting occurred at Country Home nightclub on Phattalung Road in Mueang district of Trang province.

Police found the body of 32 year old Chitkorn “Khao” Kongchan from Yan Ta Khao district lying face down in a pool of blood inside the venue.

The victim was shot twice in the back of the head, three times in the left shoulder blade, once in the rib cage, and three times in his upper right arm. He was shot nine times in total.

The victim’s 34 year old friend Ekaphot “Tom” Petcharat was shot once in the hip and another man was reportedly injured by a bullet scraping his elbow. Rescue workers took both injured men for treatment at Trang Hospital.

Investigators found 11 bullet casings scattered on the ground at the scene as well as the SWAT officer’s 9mm Glock. The Glock was loaded with one remaining round of ammunition.

The police’s investigation so far reveals that Chitkorn arrived at the nightclub at around midnight with two of his friends, Ekaphot and 42 year old Wuttichai “Den” Kongpan. The trio sat at table number 20.

The perpetrator, known as ‘Sergeant Bird,’ is Commander-in-Chief of the Defense and Crime Suppression Division at Ban Nong Aung Police Station in Palian district. He is also a serving member of the Trang SWAT team.

Sergeant Bird sat drinking at table number 20 with another police officer who used to work as a security guard at the nightclub until about one month ago.

The SWAT officer’s companion “pounced” on Sergeant Bird and snatched the firearm off him after the shooting spree. Then, both police officers fled the nightclub, leaving behind the 9mm Glock.

Nat [surname withheld], a member of serving staff at the nightclub, said the policemen were “very drunk.” He said he assumed the officers had been drinking before arriving at Country Home.

Nat said he saw a fight break out between Sergeant Bird and Chitkorn. He doesn’t know what started the argument, but he saw the SWAT officer kick Chitkorn’s chair.

When Sergeant Bird kicked the deceased’s chair, Chitkorn got angry and pushed him. Then, the deceased walked up to the second floor of the club. Sergeant Bird followed him up the stairs and fired 11 shots from behind, nine of them penetrating Chitkorn’s head and body and injuring two more people.

At the time of the incident, there were about 20 tables of customers seated inside the nightclub.

Police at Mueang Trang Police station invited a friend of the deceased and seven members of nightclub staff to be questioned at the station. Police said all of them gave consistent and useful testimony.

Police are still trying to track down and arrest Sergeant Bird.

In August, a police officer who shot dead a noodle vendor in Phuket last year was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The incident was captured by CCTV.

Crime NewsThailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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